Second Day at Oracle OpenWorld...
My second day at OpenWorld is done, and for me, that is the end of OpenWorld. I took a redeye back to the east coast last night. Yesterday was my "very busy day", actually both Monday and Tuesday were as I tried to fit a weeks worth of OpenWorld into two days.
Yesterday I had a morning keynote at the Develop conference. It was a huge audience - that is always a bit un-nerving, especially given that it was the first time I was presenting the material (the topic was "How do you know what you know"). The feedback I got was pretty good - and I finished with five minutes to spare, which is so much better than running over.
After that, I met a friend for lunch and had a get together with a former coworker before my two afternoon sessions.
The first afternoon session was a "no slide zone" presentation to a fairly packed house. I did thirty minutes of monologue (with index cards - sort of the command line interface of presentation material). The index cards were a visual part of the talk though - as it was a "top 11 things" show, after each "thing" I threw the card away (and am now just realizing I left the stage littered with cards - forgot to clean up...). Doug Burns wrote about it here.
I think I liked the "no slide zone" format for the most part. To do a two day technical seminar - that format would not work, but to do a 30/45 minute presentation - it worked well. After the monologue, we did questions and answers with the audience - which went very well. The theatre crew was out in the audience with microphones and give aways(copies of my book or coupons for free E-Book versions if they didn't want to carry a real book around) for people asking questions. So, instead of me trying to point and pick someone to ask a question - they were coordinated all over the audience and just went round and round. In the end - every part of the audience got a good chance to ask something - and their microphones were already in hand without having to wait. Very smooth.
My last talk of the day was in the Moscone Center - in a room that sat 1,083 people and was full. After the talk, there was still a crowd - we spent about an hour after the talk doing an informal question and answer/meet and greet.
After yesterday, I still wonder if I will ever not be nervous when speaking in a forum like that. I spoke to some 2,000-2,500 people that day in three sessions. Each one was scary.
After that - I was supposed to have gone to a group dinner event, but I was already an hour late for it - and it would have taken a while to get there. Add to that the fact that after doing the three sessions and having the pure adrenalin rush that comes with them (and the corresponding crash afterwards) all I wanted to do was hide somewhere - which I did :)